03/19 15:20 CDT MVP Jose Altuve, Astros finalize $163.5M, 7-year contract
MVP Jose Altuve, Astros finalize $163.5M, 7-year contract
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) --- Jose Altuve sat behind a table set up on the
field at the Houston Astros' spring training complex, and his teammates looked
on as the World Series champions announced his $163.5 million, seven-year
contract, the longest in team history.
"You made me more nervous, because I don't like talking in front of a lot of
people. You know that," he said
Houston finalized a deal Monday that guaranteed the AL MVP an additional $151
million over five seasons.
"Certainly a fan favorite. Our fans love Jose," owner Jim Crane said. "Winner,
MVP --- what else can you say? He always leads by example. When I talk to the
guys in the locker room, everybody is better because of Jose, and he's a great
leader. So, Jose, you're the heart of the team. We're happy to have you for the
The 27-year-old second baseman had been among baseball's best bargains. He
agreed in 2013 to a deal that originally guaranteed $12.5 million from 2014-17
and included club options for 2018 at $6 million and 2019 at $6.5 million.
His new deal keeps those salaries and adds a $21 million signing bonus, of
which $1 million is payable upon the deal's approval by the commissioner's
office and $10 million each on July 1 in 2018 and 2019. He gets annual salaries
of $26 million from 2020-24.
"This a very important day for me," he said. "It was a priority, because that
way it doesn't take attention from the season."
Altuve would have been eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. The
5-foot-6 Altuve hit .346 last season to win his second straight AL batting
title and third in four seasons. He had 24 homers, 82 RBIs and 32 stolen bases.
"There's some stability that comes with writing Jose's name in the lineup every
single day," manager A.J. Hinch said, "and to think that he's going to be the
franchise player for years to come is good for him, it's good for the
organization, it's obviously good for me as a manager and most importantly is
good for his teammates because he's the most reliable player I've ever been
After winning its first World Series title, Houston also hopes to reach more
long-term deals. Pitcher Dallas Keuchel and designatted hitter Evan Gattis are
eligible for free agency after this season.
Houston added pitcher Justin Verlander for its stretch run last fall and Gerrit
Cole in a trade during the offseason.
"We'd love to keep all the guys I'm looking at here for their entire careers,"
general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Jim is committed to keeping the best team on
the field for as long as possible and giving us a chance to win multiple
championships, and part of that is developing our own players and keeping our
own players and bringing in the right types of players. And we've done that.
We'll see what the future holds but we certainly have a desire and an intention
to keep our core together as long as possible."
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